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Stop press: tax bill progresses

Tax Alert - March 2023

The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2022-23, Platform Economy, and Remedial Matters) Bill (No 2) (“the Bill”) has been the subject of public submissions and Finance and Expenditure Committee (“FEC”) scrutiny and now is ready to continue its journey through Parliament.

Introduced to Parliament on 8 September 2022, as summarised in our September Tax Alert, the major tax changes included in the Bill were:

  • Introducing OECD information reporting rules for certain digital platforms.
  • Requiring accommodation and ride-sharing platforms to charge GST on behalf of suppliers (effectively imposing GST on supplies made by small suppliers below the $60,000 GST registration threshold).
  • Fixing practical issues for non-residents working in New Zealand, including proposed changes to non-resident contractors tax (“NRCT”) which were supplemented by an extensive information reporting requirement.
  • Reducing the negative tax consequences for dual resident companies.
  • Simplifying the GST apportionment rules.
  • Legislating for GST to apply to all Government charges and levies.Introducing an exclusion from the interest limitation rules for build-to-rent properties.
  • Introducing a range of remedial changes to the bright-line test and interest limitation rules.
  • Exempting public transport from fringe benefit tax (“FBT”).
  • Allowing more trusts to elect to be ‘non-active’ and therefore excluded from the trust disclosure rules.

The Bill received more than its fair share of submissions, with over 800 submissions made. Of these submissions, a significant number were expressing opposition to the GST and platform proposals and submitted that the public transport exemption from FBT should be extended to include an exemption for bicycles.

The FEC considered all the submissions made and ultimately made several recommended changes to the Bill, including:

  • Reducing the immediate scope of the OECD information reporting rules to platforms facilitating accommodation and personal services and deferring the application to platforms facilitating the sale of goods and rental of vehicles.
  • Minor tweaks to the application of GST to accommodation and ride-sharing platforms, but leaving the substance of the rules as originally proposed.
  • Removing the NRCT information reporting and single-payer-view changes from the Bill so Officials can undertake more consultation.
  • Future-proofing the types of public transport which will be exempt from FBT. The submissions to exempt bicycles were declined.

When it comes to tax, the devil is in the detail, and there are over 400 pages of detail in the Officials’ Report on submissions. This report outlines each of the submissions made and the recommended action by Inland Revenue officials. A good proportion of submissions were accepted, so there are a large number of technical changes being made to improve the Bill.

From here the Bill returns to Parliament and awaits its second reading, committee of the whole house and third reading. While Parliamentary progress of legislation can be unpredictable, when it comes to tax legislation containing the “annual rates” of tax (as this one does), it is imperative that the legislation is enacted before 31 March 2023; so we can expect to see these final steps completed in March.

For more information about the Bill please contact your usual Deloitte advisor.

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